Earwig: Sonic Theatre Podcasts

Tikka by Johnny McKnight

February 10, 2021 Tron Creative Commissioned with Danny Krass & Finn den Hertog Season 1 Episode 3
Earwig: Sonic Theatre Podcasts
Tikka by Johnny McKnight
Chapters
Earwig: Sonic Theatre Podcasts
Tikka by Johnny McKnight
Feb 10, 2021 Season 1 Episode 3
Tron Creative Commissioned with Danny Krass & Finn den Hertog

He’s just trying to cook a curry for the man he’s grown to love.  He’s been neglecting his maw, not calling, not joining in with zoom trivia.  Now, as he tries to build the nerve to say how he feels, it is her voice that comes to the fore.  Taunting him, criticising, teasing and above all telling the truth the way only a mother can.  Johnny McKnight’s exquisite and gentle comedy, rides waves of self doubt, insecurity and fragile romance, in one mans attempt to express his love for his friend and come to terms with the voices in his head.

Creator/Composer/Sound Designer: Danny Krass
Directed by Finn den Hertog
Performed by Robbie Jack & Ann Louise Ross
Additional performances by Reuben Joseph & Rosalind Sydney
Original music by  Danny Krass
Additional sound editing by Shaun Clark

Earwig has been commissioned by Tron Theatre with support from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, administered by Creative Scotland.

Show Notes Transcript

He’s just trying to cook a curry for the man he’s grown to love.  He’s been neglecting his maw, not calling, not joining in with zoom trivia.  Now, as he tries to build the nerve to say how he feels, it is her voice that comes to the fore.  Taunting him, criticising, teasing and above all telling the truth the way only a mother can.  Johnny McKnight’s exquisite and gentle comedy, rides waves of self doubt, insecurity and fragile romance, in one mans attempt to express his love for his friend and come to terms with the voices in his head.

Creator/Composer/Sound Designer: Danny Krass
Directed by Finn den Hertog
Performed by Robbie Jack & Ann Louise Ross
Additional performances by Reuben Joseph & Rosalind Sydney
Original music by  Danny Krass
Additional sound editing by Shaun Clark

Earwig has been commissioned by Tron Theatre with support from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, administered by Creative Scotland.

Danny Krass:

Hi, my name's Danny Krass. Welcome to Earwig. This is a sonic theatre podcast specifically designed for listening on headphones. For today's episode we present Tikka by Johnny McKnight, performed by Robbie Jack and Ann Louise Ross. Directed by Finn den Hertog with additional sound editing by Shaun Clark. All other music and production by me, Danny Krass. So here it is; Tikka by Johnny McKnight.

Maw:

Thing is, no' everybody likes a curry.

Him:

He does.

Maw:

Yer Dad hates it.

Him:

I'm not cooking for Dad, am I?

Maw:

And curries, re-peat on ye.

Him:

Repeat, no "re-peat" mum.

Maw:

Either way- yer arse'll be on fire. Whereas a pot of soup- you can't go wrong wi' a pot o' soup.

Him:

If it's summer ye can.

Maw:

Janice doon the road loves ma soup...

Him:

Does she..

Maw:

...and she's got an eating disorder, except when it comes to my soup.

Him:

Right?

Maw:

If you're thinking, 'oh, that way to a man's heart is through his...' it's a loada rubbish. Men'll eat ooty a pishy poke.

Him:

Thank you for the pep talk- much appreciated. At the end of the day, I'm just a guy standing in front of a guy...

Maw:

Good idea- terrify the poor boy by telling him you love him, before you've even got off wi' him.

Him:

I have got off wi' him. Once. I think. Mean, we were pretty drunk but... I'm sure we...

Maw:

The thing is; naebody's sayin' yer fat, but if you died tomorrow, we'd struggle to find enough men in the family tae carry the coffin.

Him:

Well can you and Auntie Gill no' help carry it then?

Maw:

Very good. How're we supposed to carry a coffin and a handbag? Maybe wait a few weeks 'till you've lost the beef.

Him:

I look good.

Maw:

Oh, nothing like havin' a ticket on yersel'!

Him:

Alright, well maybe not "good". Fine. I look fine.

Maw:

Big Gordon said he saw you in town. Never recognized you because of the size of ye'. But that's the thing wi' soup. There's hardly any calories in it. It's just vegetables and stock cubes. Sure, Janice was living on four Oxos a day and she managed to run roon' the block with the Avon catalogue- full o' energy, she was. Up till she had that wee episode and collapsed in the Co-op; but that was months after the fact. I was sayin' to your Dad, it's just a shame no man got tae experience ye when you were at your peak.

Him:

[Phone buzzes] No, not now, Maw. I need to concentrate.

Maw:

Ye' need tae phone. Ye've no' phoned me in weeks.

Him:

It's not been weeks.

Maw:

TWO weeks. That's weeks.

Him:

I've been busy.

Maw:

Ah, busy my arse. Yer avoiding phoning me in case I tell you this is a mistake.

Him:

I like you, Robbie. I mean, I mean, I've always liked you 'cause like, that's why we're pals, but recently things have felt ... different. And well, I don't know if it's..

Maw:

Desparation. That's what it is.

Him:

Actually no, no, it's not that.

Maw:

Or...

Him:

And it's not sexual frustration either. Definitely not 'cause I've been wanking way more than normal. Some days nothing comes oot, just literally a puff of air.

Maw:

Oh for God's sake.

Him:

But now, this; these ... feelings. They're totally measured. Insane. Yeah, I'm as surprised as you are 'cause I never saw this coming, but... I don't think we're just friends. Anymore. Not after this year, the Friday film and cocktail nights and the Saturdays stoatin' about hungover.

Maw:

Should have water before you go to bed, or drink less. You drink too much.

Him:

I've liked it. Liked us.

Maw:

Don't say "us". There isnae an us. It's you and him. Ye'll have him doin' a Julie Andrews an' running for the hills.

Him:

And even though we sit there and we talk about aw those things we wish we could be doing; goin' oot to the dancin, arms flailin' in the air tae Kylie. And okay so I know you wouldnae choose Kylie, which should be a black mark against you because somebody's incapable of deep affection for the Antipodean pop-princess shows a deeply unevolved dark-hearted soul and..

Maw:

Olive oil- ye need tae get olive oil.

Him:

Alexa, olive oil to shopping list- oh, and Tropicana.

Alexa:

I'm sorry- I don't understand that.

Him:

Alexa, olive oil and Tropicana to shopping list.

Alexa:

I'm sorry, I don't understand that.

Maw:

They're racist, those things. They kid on they canny hear ye. There's a posh man in Coventry laughin' his heed aff at aw'y us tryin' tae sound like we're off The Crown in order for it tae understand us.

Him:

I don't know where this's come from. All these...

Maw:

Or the government. It'll be the government. If Alexa canny understand us, what hooe will international countries have?

Him:

It's like ma mouth that runs away says stuff to you that's not true. I don't fancy him off Masterchef, course I don't- ah just say it to see if you react. Only you don't.

Maw:

That's tae stop us getting independence. I mean, who do you know called Alexa, bar him fae Dynasty?

Him:

And saying I wish we could go to the gay chippy so I could try to get off wi' that kind of hot guy with a skelly-eye behind the counter- that's lies too. I hate skelly eyes. Well no, I don't hate them 'cause that makes me sound like some sort of disablist.

Maw:

Actually, he was Alexis.

Him:

I want to be here. With you. Just us.

Maw:

The two are not an "us".

Him:

'Cause this bubble thing we've had is ... well it's gonna burst, eventually. And I'll have missed my moment. I'll have let it go. Like Elsa.

Maw:

You chose him to bubble with. Not me, not us.

Him:

I know.

Maw:

And ye've stopped phonin'. Stopped the Zoom quiz. I said he could come and do them with us.

Him:

It would have been weird.

Maw:

Weird?

Him:

Too much.

Maw:

You mean me? Ah'm too much? So I just have to sit the hoose aw year- highlight o' the week being mad-fuckin'-Janice is comin' over to scrounge some bloody soup. That's it. That's my lot?

Him:

You've got dad! Someone to moan to. To call a useless waste o' space. To ask to pass the remote control. To moan about breathin' like an asthmatic greyhound. Tae cuddle intae at night. And I don't! But.. but I think... maybe. May...be... I could have.

Maw:

Well ah wouldnae mention the wee lassie fae Frozen. That's an erection-deflection that. Just tell 'im. Dinny do all yer avoidin' pish.

Him:

I don't avoid...

Maw:

Any difficult conversation, you run in the opposite direction. It's why you're no' phonin' me, 'cause you know I'll tell you this is a mistake. You tell him and he disnae feel the same, ye've lost a good pal. Ye've bawsed it right up. You know I'd tell you straight.

Him:

You can't say that anymore Maw, "I'll tell you straight"- it's homophobic.

Maw:

Ah, there you are, doing it again. Avoidin'. I'll tell you exactly how the night plays oot; Ye eat dinner. He'll see it tastes good.

Him:

It might not. I think I might have overdone the garam masala.

Maw:

You'll not take the complement. And instead talk pish aboot spices. You'll notice you've no ate. Ye canny, because you're up to high doh, so then you'll pour drinks, thinkin' it's gonny gi' ye courage to say it- but it won't. It'll just distract. And then you load up the dishwasher. Suggest a film, and you'll spend the next two hours slagging off whatever crap you have picked. Deflectin'. And the whole time your gut will be goin' like a washing machine. And then you'll think, right, I'm drunk enough. I can say it. But ye don't. Next week, I'll tell him next week. Only you won't. You'll go through all this Ross and Rahel pish for the next few months.

Him:

Rachel- it was Ross and Rachel.

Maw:

And by the time you do pluck up the courage, know where he'll be? With somebody else. 'Cause the boy's no' a mind-reader. And you - well, you're cold wi' all that emotion stuff.

Him:

I'm not cold.

Maw:

Yer cold, hard to read, guarded.

Him:

I'm no'.

Maw:

You bloody are. Yer ma boy. Soon as he's through that door- you say it.

Him:

You think?

Maw:

That way, it all goes Tits-McGee, he's already got his jaiket on and you've no' had tae dirty any dinner plates.

Him:

And I'm supposed to listen to you? You call me fat.

Maw:

You are fat.

Him:

You don't think I know that?

Maw:

And while we're on the subject, why do you bother wearing trainers? The only place I've seen you run tae is the reduced aisle in Asda. You tell him, "you've been ma best pal..."

Him:

You've been my best pal.. no, no- one of my best pals. Naw, otherwise it's like 'Heeey, ah need you for everything.'

Maw:

Yer my best pal....

Him:

...one of my best pals and I think that is a good place for us to start. Then maybe we could be more than just, um....

Robbie:

Ach, ye've no' started watching it without me, have ye?

Him:

Of course not. Oh here, you should have seen the state o'....

Maw:

Oh no, ye don't. You say it.

Him:

...the medical fellow we hate on the One Show the night- aw, his haire was like...

Maw:

Say it.

Him:

I was gonny screenshot it and send it to you but didnae 'cause I thought, well I'd wait and see you first and then we'd have curry and...

Maw:

Say it. Say it.

Him:

Oh, I mean, I guess-

Maw:

Say it.

Him:

Not everyone likes curry. But I do. I really like it. Just like, I like,

Maw:

Naw. Not like.

Him:

Naw, not, not like-

Maw:

Love.

Him:

I love-

Maw:

Come on, son.

Him:

I, I, love, you. I'm in love with you. I made this for you because, I love you. And I figured it's best to tell you now before I have to dirty any more plates.

Tron Creative:

Tikka by Johnny McKnight, Johnny McKnight, 2021. This transcript is published by arrangement with Johnny McKnight. All rights reserved.